Colorful tiles on the roof of St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna

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Vienna Press Release – December 2023 Hotels offering a fresh perspective on Vienna

The “Transformative Travel” concept is changing tourism in the long term. Personalized travel experiences that benefit guests and the city in equal measure are in greater demand than ever. Memories and emotions are becoming more important than vacation photos. The authenticity and intimacy of a city are important factors in this respect. The Vienna Tourist Board is picking up on this trend in 2024 with its annual theme “Heartbeat Streets” and is putting the spotlight on vibrant Viennese neighborhoods. One aim of the project is to draw attention to the different perspectives from which Vienna can be experienced. Many of the accommodation options also make this possible.

Transforming disused buildings into modern apartments

The Urbanauts Group is a pioneer in this field. There are a total of 28 apartments in four districts of Vienna – Gußhausviertel, Karmeliterviertel, Servitenviertel and Meidlinger Markt – which bear the title “Grätzlhotel”. The underlying concept is to convert former but now vacant business premises into apartments. These are all located on the ground floor, which puts them “at eye level” with the city. The infrastructure is deliberately retained. The interior is often only separated from the street by the existing shop window. The former use of the building is still perceptible. In the “Lampenschirmmacherin” apartment, for example, the loft is illuminated by a large number of lamps that were made in these premises. Guests in the “Trafikanten” suite have a direct view of the iconic “Tabak” lettering that used to hang on the façade. The “Pilotin” apartment was born out of a travel agency. Cozy window seats in the large shop window allow guests to observe the hustle and bustle on the street. Privacy is nevertheless guaranteed here thanks to various noise and privacy protection measures. There is no reception, but there is a digital concierge and lots of information about the local neighborhood online. Guests are encouraged to explore the immediate surroundings and, for example, to take advantage of the wide range of breakfast options in the eateries in the local area.

This regeneration also benefits the neighborhood as buildings that would otherwise be vacant are brought back to life. In the summer of 2023, Urbanauts Studios opened a further 14 apartments in a former theater in Vienna’s 6th district following a similar concept.

Glamping in the middle of the city

The Hotel Daniel right next to the Belvedere Palace is actually a trendy hotel with a traditional concept. An unusual form of overnight accommodation on wheels awaits guests directly in front of the premises. The chic Airstream caravan with a living space of 16 square meters offers a mix of vintage charm and modern luxury – it even has an integrated free-standing bathtub. You wouldn't be able to tell that the trailer was built in 1952. It is equipped just like a standard hotel room: a queen-size bed, a toilet, flat-screen TV, Wi-Fi, air conditioning and heating. It is also soundproof.

The Hotel Daniel’s famous breakfast is eaten alongside the other guests in the hotel. Guests who present their booking confirmation are also entitled to free admission to the nearby Belvedere 21 cultural hotspot, which showcases contemporary art.

Live first, sleep later

Not far from the Spittelberg in the 7th district is the Altstadt Vienna, a boutique hotel in a former residential building built in the typical Viennese style. The 62 rooms and suites spread over five floors have been individually designed by international star designers such as Matteo Thun and convey a homely atmosphere. The Opera Suite, designed by architect and hotelier Roland Nemetz, boasts a 1,000-piece record collection complete with record player and the famous lounge chair with ottoman designed by Ray and Charles Eames. The more than 400 works of art in the building, including pieces by Austrian artists such as Brigitte Kowanz and Hubert Schmalix, also enhance this unique flair. Here guests can really feel like a true Viennese. The Altstadt Vienna was also the first hotel in Vienna to be awarded the Austrian Ecolabel back in 1996.

Eggs from city hens and sleeping on straw

Gourmet specialist Erwin Gegenbauer has furnished five unique Viennese guest rooms directly above his vinegar and oil manufacturer in the 10th district. The most unusual of these is the nature-oriented straw room. The other four are also furnished in a rustic style and deliberately in contrast to standard hotel rooms. Individually crafted furnishings made in line with all the principles of craftsmanship reflect the philosophy behind Gegenbauer products. Sockets hang from cables from the ceiling, water pipes snake freely through the rooms, home-made light switches work using metal chains.

Breakfast is served at a long table in the middle of the store’s sales area, alongside customers and the Gegenbauer family, who also live here. Those who so wish can even get their breakfast egg straight from the henhouse on the premises, right in the middle of the city. The supply route could not be shorter or more sustainable. Guests are also welcome to use the private swimming pool and sauna. The overall feeling that is conveyed is one of being a private guest of the family and not just a tourist.

Bathing among the rooftops

At the 25hours Hotel, guests can bathe in the open air yet still enjoy a good degree of privacy. The four rooms in the “Extra Large” category are equipped with free-standing bathtubs on their balcony. This means that these spots offer one of the most relaxing views over Vienna’s city center. Further up, in the cozy Dachboden rooftop bar, guests can enjoy the same perspective in the evening with a drink in hand and some light snacks. In the afternoons, this loft-style lounge is a quiet workplace with views of the city. On summer weekends, a burger food truck in Weghuberpark right outside the front door offers al fresco dining.

 More information about the year-long theme “Heartbeat Streets. Fall in Love with Vienna’s Neighborhoods” can be found at


Helena Steinhart
Media Relations
+43 1 211 14-364